I think the only thing harder than losing your own pet is watching someone else lose theirs. Kate began as a client when I photographed her furry son Max, but we have grown to become friends and I have so much respect for her and all she does to ensure her animals are taken care of and given a wonderful life. When I learned her 18 year old kitty Blossom was about to cross the rainbow bridge, my heart ached for her. I was so determined to photograph Blossom before she took that journey across the bridge and somehow I was able to capture a few moments before she passed. As a pet photographer, this is not just a job to me. This is my passion and my heart is 100% in every photo I take. I tried to be strong, but it was extremely hard not to cry behind the lens. I could feel every ounce of Kate's pain as she looked into her Blossom's beautiful green eyes, knowing she was going to have to let her go despite how incredibly hard that would be. As someone who has also lost a beloved pet in my life, I know first hand how deep that pain is and no words can ever truly console you. I did find a comforting poem though:
Your Pets In Heaven
by Ken D. Conover
To have loved and then said farewell, is better than to have never loved at all. For all of the times that you have stooped and touched my head, fed me my favorite treat and returned the love that I so unconditionally gave to you. For the care that you gave to me so unselfishly. For all of these things I am grateful and thankful.
I ask that you not grieve for the loss, but rejoice in the fact that we lived, loved and touched each others lives. My life was fuller because you were there, not as a master/owner, but as my FRIEND.
Today I am as I was in my youth. The grass is always green, butterflies flit among the flowers and the Sun shines gently down upon all of God's creatures. I can run, jump, play and do all of the things that I did in my youth. There is no sickness, no aching joints and no regrets and no aging.
We await the arrival of our lifelong companions and know that togetherness is forever. You live in our hearts as we do in yours. Companions such as you are so rare and unique. Don't hold the love that you have within yourself. Give it to another like me and then I will live forever. For love never really dies, and you are loved and missed as surely as we are.
And here is a before and after of one of Kate's favorite photos of Blossom that I restored.